(Last Updated on : 05/06/2010)
Kolkata is a place where people of diverse religion and culture exist and their religious fervor is expressed by various festivals and rituals. The Muslim community exists along with others and The Nakhoda Mosque is an important place of worship for the Muslims. It is located in Jacquaria Street, near the junction of Chitpore Road, and Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kolkata. Abdar Rahim Osman, a resident of Cutch, founded the mosque in 1926. A board of trustees governs the mosque. The total expense incurred for the construction of the mosque was Rs. 15 lakhs.
The Nakhoda Mosque looks magnificent with its architectural brilliance. The whole mosque was constructed of red sand stone following the tradition of Akbar`s Tomb in Sikandra Agra. The mosque is dome shaped and has two minarets each about 151ft. high and twenty-five tiny pillars all around, which are 100ft. to 117ft. tall. It has a huge prayer hall that has the capacity to hold up to 10,000 men performing the `Namaaz` at one time. A prayer hall forms an integral part and is contained in each of the floor of the mosque. Since the Mosque has traces of Moghul architecture, the gateway of the Mosque, is a duplication of the famous Buland Darwaza, which is located at Fatehpur Sikri. It is extravagant in its artistic portrayal and the style resembles the Indo-Saracenic school of architecture. The Indo- Saracenic School of architecture was developed further by the erstwhile British East India Company, which actually replaced the Moghul style of architecture that was prevalent. This school of architecture is an interesting mix of the European, Hindu and Islamic styles of architecture. The basic idea behind the flourishing of those trends was actually to lend a native touch to the British public buildings.
The Nakhoda Mosque is among the heritage sites in India but it has fallen in the group of the endangered monuments. There are many measures taken to restore the glory of the Mosque, in the past few years. The Geneva based Aga Khan Trust for Culture, has expressed their concern to preserve and refurbish this historical mosque which is unique in its style, which has a pleasant blend of the different styles of architecture, namely, Hindu, Mughal, colonial and Greek architectural patterns.
Muslim festivals instill life into the Mosque during the festive seasons of Id and Ramzan. The mosque is then beautifully decorated with neon lights and flowers, this also provides for an occasion for Muslims all over Kolkata to unite and offer prayers in harmony.
Therefore the Nakhoda Mosque is an important mosque, which has been a part of the religious life of the Muslims for many years. Situated in the Chitpur area the mosque has witnessed the changes that has occurred around the place, which was much down trodden and has transformed greatly in the present times. Developments have touched this remote place and here we get a glimpse of newest technology the boon of the civilized life.